27 June 2011

Bike-commute day 43—to home

This morning I made rain predictions that I based on two websites, including a weather radar site. As the day passed, the radar showed the precipitation areas passed through from about 11:00 through 12:30, though no rain fell. Instead, the line dissipated as it moved eastward. The line of rain that earlier was passing through St. Louis has been dissipating also, and any moderate rain has been moving east-southeast, toward Louisville and away from Dayton. So, at least at 12:45, it seems that the rains will avoid Dayton.

Much heavier cloud cover rolled in from about 15:30 through 16:30, though the radar showed only a small cell of light precipitation in the south area of Dayton. So I left work confident that my route would be dry.

I walked outside after changing into my kit, and the pavement was wet! What happened, when could it have rained? I realized that the rain, whenever it fell, had been light and perhaps 30 minutes ago, or more. No puddles remained, just a drying pavement that warranted careful cornering only until I crossed Spaulding onto the first area of canopy-covered bikeway. From that point on, with a few isolated exceptions, the way was dry.

And a good thing, too. Just north of Airway is a slight drop and curve surrounded by heavy vegetation. Just as I reached the start of the curve, I saw a young couple embracing while standing in the middle of the bikeway. No time for a whistle, I could only WHOOP! in a warning, followed by "On your..." I couldn't decide which side to take, and which side it would register as to them, since each person was facing opposite directions together, but both toward the side of the bikeway. So I motioned to my right, as they broke their embrace, turned toward me, and then moved to my left, further off my intended path. After I passed, I called out to them, "Don't do it in the road!"

Whew! a collision averted. I still don't understand, though, why the couple decided to stop and embrace in the middle of the bikeway. They didn't seem so young that they needed privacy behind the cover of an overgrown corner.

Further on, close to Park Lane, I saw my neighbor Phil Hinrichs. Though I wanted to talk with him about his recent experience of someone stealing his bike, and of recovering it soon with the help of the Dayton Police, I had a need to hurry on, to be home in time to shower and be ready to go to see Terrence Malick's new film The Tree of Life.

Ride conditions
Temperature: 77 to 80°F at 16:45
Precipitation: none
Winds: calm to 5 mph from the southwest-southeast
Clothing: Skinsuit, ankle socks, open-finger gloves.
Bike: Lotus Legend fixed gear
Time:  00:42:29 for 11.99 miles
Heart rate: 132 bpm HRave, 159 bpm HRmax
Bikeway users: 16 cyclists, 14 pedestrians, 4 dogs
Here is a playback of the ride.

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